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Feature StoryTokyo

3 Favorite Areas in Tokyo

Throughout this journey across the globe, we got to see so many unique areas of Tokyo, and each of them were completely different than the other. Anywhere you go Tokyo (or even Japan, really) will feel like new compared to where you started. Being able to get to explore these different areas and neighborhoods, you start to find out what you like and dislike in a city. So let’s talk about my favorite areas.

Akihabara

Of all the places we got to see and experience, Akihabara was my favorite area of the city. Situated in the Chiyoda ward, the centrally located Akihabara was only a couple blocks from our hotel, so it became a frequent haunt for us (I mean hey, that’s where the KFC is). Akihabara is known for being the anime and manga capital of Tokyo, and it really is. Maid cafes and manga stores line the street, as well as a whole slew of tech things. SThere were also stores that have any and every piece of tech imaginable from light bulbs to SD cards to cameras and film. Akihabara also has so many arcades, like an insane amount.

Emilee Hall, student, makes her way through one of the various arcades in Akihabara.

Ryogoku

The train passing through Ryogoku

I think my attachment to Ryogoku stems from the fact that my favorite day of the whole trip included some time in this area. Ryogoku is known for being the sumo center in Tokyo. If you want to go see some sumo matches, this is the place to be. The place you’re looking for is Ryogoku Kokugikan Stadium. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see a match, but even just walking around the area was a completely different experience than Akihabara. You can also check out the sumo stables where the wrestlers practice and train. When we went, we were able to have my favorite meal of the trip, chankonabe (I won’t talk your ear off about this one since I made another whole post about it). If you end up going to this area please, please try chankonabe; you won’t regret it.

Students and program assistant, Jon Zmikly, pose with sumo cutouts at Ryogoku Kokugikan Stadium.

Kamakura

While Ryogoku and Akihabara are similar in terms that they are both metropolitan areas full of buildings and industrial surroundings, Kamakura is different. Kamakura is a complete 180 from the hustle and bustle of other areas in Tokyo (to be fair, Kamakura isn’t actually in Tokyo but it’s right outside of it, so it counts). Kamakura is where you go when you need a change of pace. It’s where you go when you need to slow down. Kamakura is right by the sea and full of temples and shrines so it makes for the perfect day trip (speaking of which, I also wrote a post about our day trip to Kamakura). Hasedera is one of the temples we went to that day and from the top you get this amazing view of the town that surrounds it. It’s truly magical, I felt like I was living in Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami.

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